BUTTERWORTH, Feb 1 — The Penang government is drawing up several action plans to deal with the dwindling water level at the Air Itam Dam.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said these plans included re-diversion plans of water supply by pumping water from the Sungai Dua water treatment plant (LRA) and other dams to the Air Itam Dam to enable it to regain effective water capacity for distribution to users in the surrounding areas.

“Even though the Air Itam Dam level is declining, supply can still be made through the Sungai Dua LRA and Teluk Bahang Dam, and these steps are expected to control the situation (water depletion) and ensure that there are no areas experiencing a lack of (water) supply,” he said.

Chow said this when met after the Smart Agriculture and Food Manufacturing: Cultivating a Sustainable Future Conference here today. The event was also attended by State Agrotechnology, Food Security and Cooperative Development Committee chairman Fahmi Zainol.


Currently, the Air Itam Dam supplies water to about 170,000 residents in the Air Itam, Paya Terubong and Jalan Masjid Negeri areas on the island.

Chow said in addition to re-diversion of the water supply, his team is also considering cloud seeding as an alternative to overcome the situation at the Air Itam Dam.

For this, he said a meeting will be held with the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) chief executive officer K. Pathmanathan soon to enable further discussions for a plan as well as other appropriate plans to ensure sufficient water supply to the areas involved.


Yesterday, Pathmanathan said the capacity of the Air Itam Dam continued to show a significant drop to Alert Level 2 due to the current hot weather in addition to increased pumping following several rounds of supply disruption as a result of the leaked Sungai Prai pipeline.

The Air Itam Dam recorded an effective capacity of 83 per cent on December 1, but the burst pipe incident in Sungai Prai on December 18 caused its use to be increased to accommodate the use of the affected users, causing the water level to drop to 66.7 per cent as of January 5. — Bernama